Google and Yahoo! join Oz protests
Mass clog-up of Conroy's web filter
Google and Yahoo! have joined a pressure group which seeks to stop Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's doomed attempt to filter Aussie web traffic.
Conroy wants to stop access to all material which would be Refused Classification if it was a film or book.
But Google, Yahoo!, the Australian Library and Information Association are opposed on two grounds. Firstly, the system is hopelessly wide and likely to catch material which is inoffensive.
Secondly, it is likely to create a false sense of security for Aussie parents who will believe that Conroy's firewall really is keeping their kids safe.
The Safe Internet Group warns that the majority of offensive online content is traded in chatrooms and on peer-to-peer networks rather than on public websites.
It is also concerned that Conroy's mandatory filer will include content that is educational or social. Trials last year did wrongly blacklist websites promoting a Queensland dentist, a photographer and a travel agent.
Finally, the group warned that sites like YouTube, which is bound to have some pages on the filter blacklist, would effectively overload the filter and create bottlenecks.
Instead the librarians suggest a three-pronged approach to making the internet safer.
First educate children and parents on keeping safe online and avoiding inappropriate material. Secondly, focus police attention on areas like p2p networks where real child sex abuse images are exchanged and sold.
Thirdly, the group said that if the government, and society, remained determined to introduce some kind of nationwide filter then they should learn from European experience and try and prevent access to a clearly defined band of child sexual abuse material.
Conroy's introduction of the Aussie Firewall has been a catalogue of disasters - ISPs refusing to take part in early trials, complaints from almost everyone else, the leaking of the list of banned websites and then Operation Titstorm - an attack on government websites by hackers opposed to the censorship, and let's not forget the pesky 16-year-old who broke the bleeding thing within half an hour of its launch.
Safer Internet Group's full statement is here. ®
Make the internet safer
At least when King Canute ordered the tide to turn back, he knew perfectly well that it wouldn't.
The internet was built for adults, not children. If you are so foolish as to let your little ones (and the prudes, bluenoses, and hysterics) go into an adult-oriented arena like the internet, don't be surprised, alarmed, or upset when they themselves are surprised, alarmed, and upset by evidence that adults enjoy sex in enormous variety, have no restraints on their choice of vocabulary, and get a kick out of seeing nekkid ladies and gents consorting with one another in every conceivable combination, and a few that are inconceivable.
The idea that the internet is (or can be made) "safe" except for selected "adult" sites is nonsense. The internet is de facto unsafe for tender minds unless a site is specifically intended for their consumption. It's not a matter of putting adult sites on a blacklist; it's a matter of putting kiddie-oriented sites on a whitelist. And then enforcing that whitelist only for children.
PS: The internet and the ready availability of online porn went mainstream about 1995. We must now have a large cohort of young adults who have been viewing porn since well before puberty. Has anyone done a study to find out if doing so has fried their brains wrt sexuality?
I hate Conroy, with the fire of a thousand suns...
This filter was never about the children, it is about a right wing cath o lic, kissing up to the Australian Christian lobby, because of a vote preference deal he did with them before the election.
The is no opposition to the filter from the liberal (Ha ha ha slap thigh) party. They have been aching for this sort of filter for ages, but didn't have the balls to implement it.
They will let labor take all the heat, but vote for it anyway.
Not even the so called Green Left party is against it, they are putting forward candidates who only oppose it on technical grounds, not on the basic grounds of free speech, and not having the state decide what we see and hear.
I am putting my money where my mouth is, and I am signing up to the Australian Pirate party as of today.
It's sad that the are the only true alternative party in Australia nowdays, given the implosion of the Democrats, and the selling out of the Greens.
I do not want my country to turn into a fascist censoring theocracy.
If I want to to look at fetish stuff, in my own home, with my wife, I should not have that censored by a government.
Conroy vs Australia
Note that the original idea was to give parents the ability to censor the internet for their kids. Conroy extended it to censor the internet by Conroy for adult Australians.
As Parents are to Children, so Conroy is to Australians.
Nanny Conroy knows best, and if you don't agree you hate children.